An individual who was riding a scooter with a friend pulled up to a home in Queens on August 3 and tore down a Pride Flag before stomping all over it and taking off, according to surveillance video footage released by the NYPD.
Footage shows the alleged suspect walking up to a home at 75-14 190th Street in Fresh Meadows, Queens and ripping the flag from its awning. In the video, the suspect steps all over the Rainbow Flag while their friend appears to be recording the incident on a device. Moments later, the video shows the suspect scurrying back to the scooter and fleeing the scene.
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident, and no arrests have been made, police said. The NYPD said the suspect did not have permission to be on the property and charges of criminal mischief could be forthcoming.
This report comes amid a wave of similar incidents targeting Pride Flags. Earlier this month, the Blacksburg Police Department in Virginia said vandals tore down a Rainbow Flag and replaced it with a Confederate flag at Wesley at Virginia Tech, a United Methodist Ministry near the public university.
On August 4, Forbes reported that a butcher shop with multiple New York City locations came under fire after its CEO removed a Pride Flag from several of the company’s stores. While the CEO eventually put the Flag back up, staffers walked out in response to the incident. During Pride Month, a Rainbow Flag was also torn down from a Black-owned LGBTQ barbershop in Brooklyn.
In 2019, a 29-year-old was busted and charged with criminal mischief and arson after allegedly torching Rainbow Flags multiple times at Alibi Lounge, an LGBTQ bar in Manhattan.
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